The Charlotte News

Tuesday, October 7, 1941


Site Ed. Note: "Blood & Sand", about the importation of bulls to Nazi-occupied countries in Europe to enchant the Nazi soldiers and inure them to blood and gore, brings to mind something we read a couple of days ago about recent campaign rally cries on the McCain-Palin trail: "Traitor, liar, off with his head," they are yelling now. And, it is reported, without so much as a gentile scolding to the crowd uttering such blood-lusting exhortations from either of the candidates at the rostrum.

It is not funny, this sort of speech. Nor is it protected speech. We recall that the days leading up to Dallas in 1963 saw just such hate-speech, both in public appearances of others, such as against Adlai Stevenson, and in print, such as the ad in The Dallas Morning News which ran the day of the President's visit, showing a mock wanted poster with the word "Treason" as the caption. Such public displays of wanton vitriol encourage fringe lunatics to action, suggests an implied acceptance of violence to solve an issue.

Perhaps, the Secret Service tending to these rallies might want to mark down who these thugs are that are shouting such things as "off with his head," and have a little chat with them in a little room somewhere to instruct them on appropriate public decorum, taking their names and addresses with them as they depart. Perhaps, they ought even read them today's Bible quote.

Freedom of speech does not extend to open verbal threats to a candidate's life or encouraging others to utter such things.

It is not funny. And we think that the two Republican candidates ought have the dignity and the responsible decorum themselves to put a stop to it or terminate instantly such rallies and tell their rowdies to go home and sleep it off.

If this sort of politicking is what Ms. Palin meant when she announced herself as a pit-bull, then take it somewhere else. It is lower rung, base, and sick. Desperation has scarcely ever so fully raised such a strident and ugly head in a presidential campaign in modern times.

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